Born in 1951 in the middle of the United States, Des Moines, Iowa, Bill Bryson is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24 carat memoir gold. Like millions of his generation, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. In his case, he ran around the house wearing a jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel round his neck that served as his cape, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and vanquishing evildoers (in his head) as The Thunderbolt Kid.
Using his old fantasy life as a springboard, Bill Bryson recreates the life of his family in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality. In a period that saw the inexorable rise of television, the opening of Disneyland, the testing of the atomic bomb, and the explosion of choice in everything from food to cars, Bill Bryson's days followed in reassuringly cosy succession, enlivened by modest triumphs and disasters.
Warm and laugh-out-loud funny, The Thunderbolt Kid is full of Bill Bryson's inimitable, pitch-perfect observations and this unabridged recording contains every single amusing anecdote and amazing fact. Nothing is left out, so you can enjoy the whole book in its entirety, read by Bill Bryson himself.
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I enjoyed this very much, chuckled all the way through and was almost sorry when it finished. It was a bonus having the author read his own work. Thank you for sharing your childhood adventures with your reading public!
Not been American
The father, proving fathers are the same world wide
from the horse's mouth
No, styled that one could dip and out, therefore, prolonging the pleasure
Marvelous insight into growing up in small town America in the 50/60's
Legal Thrillers, crime, fiction. humor and a bit of management sprinkled with some self improvement. All through Audible.
If it is funny, it is only for the American. It is not like his earlier books. Not a classic global book which everyone can enjoy.
I have enjoyed Bryson's other books but this one is an in-your-face reminder of how actually disgusting little boys can be - his loving and graphic descriptions of the things boys get up to had me almost sick; I had to stop listening. Some listeners may delight in remembering the sheer ickiness of childhood experience, but I didn't.
"Bryson,as always is fantastic"
Growing up a decade later and in England not America my childhood memories differ in detail. However, many of the feelings are just the same. The sense of freedom, of life spread out endlessly in front of you. Long hot summer holidays (weren't they always hot when we were children?) parents who seemed not to worry too much. I often think my own children have missed out on those moments of freedom and exploration that we enjoyed as I watch them tirelessly twiddling on their game controllers. As always Bill Bryson weaves his wonderful wit and observations of life into his books and I for one enjoy them all the more when read by the author.
Riveting and so damned funny you'll probably throw up coffee through your nose. Buy it.
I have listened to a few of Bill Bryson's brilliantly written fictions but this is different. It is autobiographical. It is never dry or tedious, quite the opposite in fact. He has a charming, gentle wit which shines through and I found I was smiling the whole time.
Not all authors are good narrators, of their own or other's books but Bill has a wonderful style, a beautiful, easy to listen to voice, perfectly pitched and interesting. He has a marvellous memory and the gift of evoking images that come alive in your mind. This is true of all his writing I have experienced so far. I have never been to America although I grew up through the same years in England. He brought those years back to me despite the different environments with the added seasoning of colourful characters, insightful comments and the red and green cellophane glasses that made 3D comic books so exciting. I am sure many will enjoy hearing about the Tnunderbolt Kid's early years. Thank you Bill, your book is a delight and is treasured by me, at least.
"Superb Childhood Memories"
Great collection of memories from the 1950's. Superbly narrated by the author him self... Enjoyable.
"Great, easy, funny, listen."
Being a long time fan of Mr Bryson, this book coming up on the audible daily deal was a great opportunity for me. A candid and open look at Bills childhood with the advantage of hearing it in his own words and after his life has allowed him to look back and try to make sense of it all. Laugh out loud funny at times, it's a great addition to anyone's car journey, especially mine as being at a standstill in traffic for 5 hours passed incredibly fast. My only warning would be people stare when they see you laughing to yourself...
"Witty and engaging!"
A marvelous trip down memory lane with Bryson. He blends historical anecdote with childhood reminiscence to very good effect, creating a warm feelgood picture of 1950s Americana. I enjoyed this. His self narration is a little flat in places, but this is made up for by the warmth and fluidity of the writing. Well worth the effort!
A sometimes funny and somewhat sad journey through Bryan's childhood in mid-America in the 1950/60s.
As always it's well written and full of interesting facts. There are a couple of laugh out load moments, but some very sad moments where Bryson reminisces over what has been lost with passing time.
"everything about this book is excellent"
fascinating, engaging, compelling, and funny too. I must have listened to this at least a dozen times.
"The times I wish I lived in"
Bill Bryson at his best. This was made better for me by the fact that it was narrated by Bill himself, although going off other reviews I realise he's not to everyone's taste. This is a happy, funny, comfort blanket of a book, telling of a time when it was so fortunate to be a child. You genuinely will laugh out loud at some of Bill and his gang's exploits, and the Thunderbolt Kid can't fail to brighten your day. Five stars, Bill.
"'50s in Full Colour"
A humorous and entertaining voyage: growing up in prosperous, post-war, middle America. With all its attendant wonders and disturbing normalcy.
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